Sharon Epstein is a Nationally Registered Dance Movement Therapist since 1989 and a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. Throughout the years, Sharon continually builds and broadens her knowledge, skills and experience in working with the body/mind/spirit paradigm. She has worked within the fields of general psychiatry, substance abuse, oncology, neurology, geriatrics, as well as wellness and preventive care. She continues to take numerous workshops and classes but learns most from the classes she teaches.
As a yoga teacher, Sharon received her 300 hour level training from Laughing Lotus, NYC (2012) and her 200 hour training at the Yoga and Polarity Center of Malverne, Long Island (2007) She has additional training in prenatal yoga and yoga for kids. Sharon currently leads dance programs for people with Parkinson’s Disease and for women recovering from cancer. She is proud to facilitate an embodied Judaism class, blending Yoga and Judaism at Temple Beth El of Great Neck alongside Rabbi Tara Feldman.
Sharon is so grateful and appreciative for the shared wisdom and energy of her many teachers, colleagues and students within the yoga and dance community.
Getting to Know Sharon…
1) Why did you start practicing yoga?
In the late 1970s I fell into a Yoga class in NYC to stretch my body and relax my mind after taking dance class. Intrigued, and intuitively feeling this was where I needed and wanted to be, I took out a Yoga recording from our local library and practiced along, as a teenager from my bedroom at home. Over the next decade yoga was intertwined with theatre warm-ups and dance cool downs. Then, in the early 1990’s living and working in NYC, Yoga exploded and became very accessible and was very “cool” . It became my personal refuge as I worked a stressful job as a dance movement therapist in a psychiatric hospital. Throughout the decades, yoga’s many layers have been revealed to meet the different challenges, changes and needs of my life.
2) How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is eclectic. I love vinyasa flow, I love alignment, I love aspects of kundilini. I have studied with so many different teachers over the years from many different traditions. I love it all… I love variety and creativity. It is all Hatha Yoga!
3) Who or what is your inspiration?
What inspires me is an exchange of energy, ideas and friendship among teachers and students in the yoga community.
4) Tell us something that we would never guess about you?
I manage living with an auto immune condition called Crohn’s Disease. Many people assume that Yoga teachers are “anti-medicine”. I am grateful that I have medications that keep my condition in a remission most of the time, and that I am able to live a really active full life, mostly free of pain. I believe that It is possible that Yoga contributes to my remission!!
5) What is your least favorite asana to practice?
My least favorite pose is wheel. Due to mild arthritis in my lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint, I need to work very diligently to access the muscles in my upper body so I do not feel compression or rubbing of bone on bone in my lumbar spine. This takes a lot of effort, stamina, strength and awareness on my part. When I do practice wheel pose on a regular basis, I feel a lot of freedom in the front and back of my body. At times, when I prefer to back off and put less effort into a pose, I modify and practice bridge pose. I especially enjoy the support and pressure of a block under my lower back. This pose then becomes a favorite!!
6) Name 1 thing on your bucket list.
On my bucket list is hiking and biking through some of our country’s magnificent national parks.